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Ricky Robinson

Ricky is a computer enthusiast, his passion is contagious. He’s the one who spends almost all day searching the internet for the latest and most interesting news around the world. He likes computer gaming and animated design. He’s also the manager of BelleNews.

Google Inc. has been fined $22.5 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for ignoring the privacy settings of customers using Apple’s Safari browser.

The staggering sum would be the largest penalty ever levied on a single company by the FTC.

But, with Google reporting a net income of $2.89 billion in the first quarter of this year, it would take just over 17 hours for the company to earn the amount to pay off the fine.

The fine was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which cited officials briefed on the settlement terms.

Google has been fined $22.5 million by the FTC for ignoring the privacy settings of customers using Apple's Safari browser

Google has been fined $22.5 million by the FTC for ignoring the privacy settings of customers using Apple's Safari browser

The charges involve Google’s use of special computer code, or “cookies”, to trick Apple’s Safari browser so Google could monitor users that had blocked such tracking, the newspaper said.

The tracking, which occurred on computers and iPhones, would have allowed the search engine to collect information on users’ preferences and search choices.

But Google disabled the code after being contacted by the Wall Street Journal, which first covered the story in February.

Staff at Google told the publication that tracking Apple users was inadvertent and did not cause any harm to consumers.

“The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page. We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies,” Google said.

But the company’s practices sparked an investigation by the Trade Commission into whether it had violated an agreement signed last year.

In the 20-year agreement, Google said it would not misrepresent its privacy practices to users, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The penalty for violating this agreement is $16,000 per violation per day.

The code was spotted by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer. Advisers agreed that scores of ads on websites installed the tracking code.

Google also faces potential sanctions from other governments. It is being investigated by the European Union to determine if the company complies with Europe’s stricter privacy laws, the Wall Street Journal reported.



The “first picture” of character Christian Grey from E.L. James’s novel Fifty Shades of Grey has been created by Dr. Faye Skelton, who has used descriptions and image-generating software.

University of Central Lancashire’s Dr. Faye Skelton made the image using descriptions of how women said they imagined protagonist Christian Grey.

Dr. Faye Skelton said the composite, created with software used to make images of criminal suspects, was “a bit of fun”.

She said she hoped the image would not “intrude on anyone’s fantasies”.

The "first picture" of character Christian Grey from E.L. James's novel Fifty Shades of Grey created by Dr. Faye Skelton

The "first picture" of character Christian Grey from E.L. James's novel Fifty Shades of Grey created by Dr. Faye Skelton

The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which recently became the fastest adult paperback novel to sell one million print copies, tells the story of the steamy relationship between billionaire businessman Christian Grey and “unworldly, innocent” literature student, Anastasia Steele.

Dr. Faye Skelton used the descriptions of 12 women given to a radio station to create the composite and said most had drawn “comparisons with famous film stars”.

“While we don’t want to intrude on anyone’s fantasies, based on a small sample of women, this is the image of Christian Grey they have in their heads when reading the novels,” she said.

“Personally, I think he’s quite handsome – although everyone’s interpretation will be different.”

She added that the image “was just a bit of fun, but it does show the quality of image we can now generate”.

The university’s psychology department has been at the forefront of facial composite technology and created advanced software which uses the selection of multiple complete faces to create an image of a person.

It has been used by police forces across the world to identify criminal suspects.



Lady Gaga stepped out in a tiger-print leotard to celebrate the Fourth of July in Melbourne during her Australian tour.

Lady Gaga, 26, was reasonably modest by her standards in that she teamed her leotard with black opaque tights, and carried a large black fur coat.

The singer was on her way to a private party with her entourage at Northcote Social Club in inner city Melbourne.

As usual Lady Gaga accentuated her long legs with towering heeled lace-up boots, teamed with theatrical sunglasses.

She obligingly stopped to pose for photos for fans on her way.

Lady Gaga stepped out in a tiger-print leotard to celebrate the Fourth of July in Melbourne during her Australian tour

Lady Gaga stepped out in a tiger-print leotard to celebrate the Fourth of July in Melbourne during her Australian tour

Lady Gaga appears to have been in a feline mood recently, and has been seen sporting the popular claw-like “stiletto nails”.

Rihanna, Heidi Klum, Fergie, and Beyonce have also been seen wearing the long, curved, animalistic talons sharped to a point and painted bright colors.

Lady Gaga is now preparing for the final show of her Australian tour on Saturday night, having stormed through Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Thousands of fans have traveled from all over the country for the past month to catch her performances and her legendary wardrobe changes, one of which is a version of her famous meat dress.

Following the Australian leg of her Born This Way Ball Tour, Lady Gaga will head to Europe in August where she will perform in Finland, Sweden and Germany as well as in the UK.

Ticket holders may well get to hear her new song Princess Die which she debuted at her Melbourne concert this week.

The song has outraged fans of the late Princess Diana, who believe the lyrics refer to her tragic death in 1997.

On a less controversial note, Lady Gaga has expressed her excitement for the forthcoming No Doubt record.

Lady Gaga gushed on her Twitterpage: “Is anyone else freaking out about No Doubt putting out a new album. I can’t wait!”



Danny Boyle, artistic director of the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, has apologized to volunteers over “spoilers” appearing in the press.

In an email sent to the 10,000 members of the public participating in the 27 July event, Danny Boyle asked them to “stay virtuous” and “protect the show”.

“Many of you have been dismayed by the media scrutiny on the show,” he wrote.

“I am sorry that, despite our best efforts, we appear to be unable to stop these stories appearing in the press.”

At a media briefing last month, the Oscar-winning director revealed the ceremony would feature a recreation of the “British countryside” featuring country scenes and farmyard animals.

Danny Boyle, artistic director of the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, has apologized to volunteers over "spoilers" appearing in the press

Danny Boyle, artistic director of the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, has apologized to volunteers over "spoilers" appearing in the press

In the weeks that followed, several newspapers published follow-up stories revealing additional, unsanctioned information about the event.

“Some of you have asked why we agreed to the two media briefings we have done when <<open season>> continues on trying to reveal every aspect of our work to the public ahead of 27 July,” wrote Danny Boyle in his email.

“We thought they would be a good way to satisfy the media’s curiosity about our show but, in the case of certain papers, it hasn’t quenched their desire to be the first to reveal every detail possible.”

London 2012 organizing committee chairman Lord Coe made similar comments on Twitter at the weekend asking for details to be kept secret.

“Share the frustration of volunteer performers and the public at Opening Ceremony being unofficially trailed. Let’s #savethesurprise,” he said.

One billion people worldwide are expected to watch the opening ceremony, which will feature music by electronic duo Underworld and a “harmonically-tuned” bell weighing 23 tons.

Cast rehearsals continue at the Olympic stadium in east London, which has been fitted with a million-watt sound system.

Cast members have been asked to sign and abide by a non-disclosure agreement.



Model Kate Upton became a household name overnight, and this year landed the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition.

But new images show Kate Upton wasn’t always so open about showing off her body.

In photos taken from the model’s high school yearbook, her celebrated body is covered with a button down shirt.

Kate Upton’s high school friends, who knew her just three short years ago as their fellow classmate, tell how her success seems to have blossomed overnight – shocking them all.

For they remember a flat-chested teenager who was “nerdy looking”.

Speaking candidly, a fellow classmate of Kate Upton’s from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Florida, remembers the supermodel as a B average student who was the opposite of the “it” girl at school.

Kate Upton’ school friends remember a flat-chested teenager who was “nerdy looking”

Kate Upton’ school friends remember a flat-chested teenager who was “nerdy looking”

Wearing a white oxford shirt paired with a khaki kilt as her school uniform, Kate Upton, now 20, was required to go to church services everyday and her favorite pastime was riding horses.

But while nearly every man on this planet would love to date her today, Kate Upton surprisingly didn’t have any dates as a schoolgirl.

“Kate was the bridge between the popular crowd and the losers,” tells Kate’s high school classmate.

“She wasn’t really outgoing and she definitely wasn’t the prettiest girl in school.

“She was very slim, flat chested and sort of nerdy looking – I’m not sure she ever had a boyfriend in school.”

But three years on, you can bet every guy from her high school class is kicking themselves for not jumping at the opportunity to date the world’s hottest supermodel.

“I remember Kate being in and out of class a lot, traveling and trying to make it as a model,” tells her classmate.

“She was never overly confident or annoying about it, but one day she just left school and never came back.

“It was almost like she blossomed overnight and grew into this beautiful woman, never to be heard from again.

“Now, talking to all the guys from our class, we’re all regretful that we never asked her out.”

Kate Upton’s stardom has seen her land on the cover of several big name magazines, most recently men’s quarterly, GQ.

During the shoot Kate Upton recently revealed that she endured a slight mishap.

The model explained what happened in her interview, saying: “For the GQ photo shoot, we were on the ride where the seat spins while the actual ride is spinning, and I’m wearing a one-piece.

“All of a sudden the whole entire top falls off! I’m holding myself, laughing, turning bright red, but a lot of people are watching, so they kicked us out of the Santa Monica Pier – it was so embarrassing.”



When producers of Grammy Awards learned of Whitney Houston’s death less than 24 hours before the live telecast, they scrapped parts of the script, added performances and puzzled over how best to honor the Grammy-winning singer who died unexpectedly at age 48.

Host LL Cool J said that addressing the Grammy audience at the Staples Center after Whitney Houston’s death was “definitely the most challenging moment I’ve faced in my career.”

He decided to open with a prayer, and producers agreed, though none could recall another network TV event that began as such.

This and other last-minute changes made to the 54th annual Grammy Awards are chronicled in a new documentary, A Death in the Family: The Show Must Go On, which premiered this week at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The screening of the 25-minute documentary and 14-minute highlight reel of past Grammy performances was also a not-so-subtle push for Emmy votes.

“We’d love to have you consider us when you vote,” said Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the Grammys for the past 32 years.

“We’ve been nominated before and not won.”

When producers of Grammy Awards learned of Whitney Houston's death they scrapped parts of the script, added performances and puzzled over how best to honor her

When producers of Grammy Awards learned of Whitney Houston's death they scrapped parts of the script, added performances and puzzled over how best to honor her

He added that executives at CBS, which broadcasts the Grammys, suggested Ken Ehrlich’s team produce the documentary, which can be seen on the Grammy.com website and at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

Emmy ballots are due at the end of the month.

The documentary, though it deals with show changes made after Whitney Houston’s death, isn’t a downer.

Ken Ehrlich said that about an hour before he heard about Whitney Houston, he’d experienced a career high: Paul McCartney, who was set to close the show, asked if he might perform a Beatles medley from Abbey Road, and maybe it could include a guitar jam with the likes of Dave Grohl, Joe Walsh and Bruce Springsteen.

The number came together just before Whitney Houston’s death.

Ken Ehrlich said the magic of that Paul McCartney moment made him feel “like maybe there is a God.”

“God said, I’m going to give this to him, but I’m not going to let him get too cocky,” the veteran producer said in an interview before the screening.

After Whitney Houston died, the challenge was to “do something that was respectful to Whitney,” Ken Ehrlich said: “that set a tone that also didn’t lose the fact that there were thousands of people who were coming to this event because they had done something remarkable this year on their own, and they needed to be treated with respect as well.”

The documentary includes interviews with LL Cool J and Jennifer Hudson, who performed a heartfelt tribute to Whitney Houston. It also includes rehearsal footage and interviews with Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl, who said performing alongside Paul McCartney was unforgettable.

Bruce Springsteen joked that he had “been waiting since 1964” for the opportunity to play with the former Beatle. Dave Grohl said sharing the stage with such icons was like “looking at Mount Rushmore.”

February’s Grammy Awards drew nearly 40 million viewers, its second largest audience ever. The biggest Grammy audience – more than 43 million viewers – came in 1984, when Michael Jackson won a record eight awards for Thriller.

 [youtube y31QNLOdhok]


 Jeff Blackburn was driving his garbage truck on his regular route in Seattle when he saw a woman jogging with a baby in a pram, TV network Komo 4 reports.

Scroll down for video

The mother turned the pram sideways at the top of a hill and moved away to talk to some other women when the stroller took off, he said.

“She was on a hill and almost immediately when she turned the corner the stroller started to turn and roll down the hill,” Mr Blackburn said.

“So I started honking the horn and speeding up so I could catch up to it before it got to the intersection, because at the bottom of the hill was a busy intersection with stop signs.” 


Blackburn acted quickly to avert disaster. He honked the horn of his truck repeatedly, attracting the attention of a FedEx truck that stopped in time. Quick thinking, he used his big truck to block traffic so the intersection was free for the stroller to roll across safely.


He then jumped out of his truck and ran across the road just in time to stop the stroller as it bumped over a curb.


He told KOMO4: “When I got to the bottom, I hit the brake, got out of the truck and tried to grab it. Luckily when I was honking the horn, a FedEx truck was going through the intersection and stopped because he heard the horn honking.”


The video shows a woman giving a helping hand with the rescue effort.


The boy was rescued unhurt and and it seems he had enjoyed the roll down the hill. Blackburn told KOMO4: “He seemed to be having a great time rolling down the hill… he seemed to enjoy it.”


The frantic woman arrived seconds later.


“She came running in — she was freaked out and was shaking and… I don’t even think she said anything, she just grabbed the kid and ran away,” Blackburn said. “She was just really, really shook up.”


He says he was in the right place at the right time because the FedEx truck going through the intersection would likely have never seen the stroller had it not been for all the horn honking.


Blackburn was asked if he had seen anything before in the three years he’s been on the route.

“No, this is the first. People usually hold on to their children,” he laughed.


Contact information for reservations


Foreign Clients Phone:  (56-35) 481636
National Clients Phone: (56-9) 923 318 64 and (56-9) 684 201 10
Customers Owners Phone:  (56-35) 481797

Please add 011 in front of the number if you’re calling from the US. It might also work by adding a plus (+) sign, instead of 011.



Regular prices



Depending on the chosen period and the length of stay prices range from $90.00 per night for a two bedroom apartment and from $120.00 per night for a four bedroom apartment.


crystal lagoons price listing regular prices

crystal lagoons price listing regular prices


Special Offers for Crystal Lagoons – San Alfonso del Mar


You can find prices for different holidays on their website as you can see in the picture below:


crystal lagoons price san alfonso del mar special offers


Prices for Winter 2012 for Crystal Lagoons San Alfonso del Mar


For a 7 days/6 nights vacation between July 16th 2012 and July 22nd 2012 you can expect to pay from $496.50 for a one bedroom to $819.00 for a four bedroom apartment.

For the same period, but a longer vacation 14 days/13 nights the prices range from $954.50 for a one bedroom to $1,585.00 for a four bedroom apartment.


crystal lagoons price san alfonso del mar special offers winter 2012



Last minute offers for Crystal Lagoons – San Alfonso del Mar


Last minute prices for the Laguna Vista Crystal Lagoon resort range from $183.00 for a two bedroom apartment to $217.00 for a three bedroom duplex apartment. The prices are for 4 days/3 nights between June 29th 2012 to July 2nd 2012.


last minute prices crystal lagoons price laguna vista


Last minute prices for the San Alfonso Del Mar Crystal Lagoon resort range from $241.50 for a one bedroom apartment to $399.00 for a four bedroom apartment. The prices are for 4 days/3 nights between June 29th 2012 to July 2nd 2012.


crystal lagoons price san alfonso del mar last minute offers


What do San Alfonso Del Mar apartments look like?

Here are some pictures of a two bedroom apartment:

crystal lagoons room452 1 two bedroom apartment san alfonso del mar

crystal lagoons room452 1 two bedroom apartment san alfonso del mar

crystal lagoons room452 1 two bedroom apartment san alfonso del mar

crystal lagoons room452 1 two bedroom apartment san alfonso del mar



A Spectacular Lagoon

crystal lagoons san alfonso del mar saltwater lagoonThe most emblematic building work at San Alfonso holds the current Guinness record as the world’s largest crystalline water pool, with an extension of more than one kilometer in length, eight hectares and 250 million liters of water. Hard to imagine? We are talking about nothing less than the equivalent to 6,000 familiar 8-meters-long pools. 

Apart from its large size, the lagoon has another spectacular feature: its waters have the transparency and intense turquoise color of tropical seas. This has been made possible thanks to an advanced technology* developed by the company Crystal Lagoons, which is able to collect ocean water and keep it in perfect condition. But this is not all that it is there: during summer, the lagoon further maintains a pleasant temperature that borders 26ºC, nine degrees more than the nearby sea temperature. The success and exclusivity of this technology has enabled Crystal Lagoons to export its know-how to major international real-estate projects. 

In this way, at San Alfonso an unbelievable goal is achieved: feeling the enjoyment of the Caribbean Sea right at the Chilean central coast. 


crystal lagoons san alfonso del mar private beaches white sand tropical environment palm treesPrivate White-Sand Beaches


The private beaches of each building have their own docks and truly recreate a tropical environment. Their white sands and numerous palm trees constitute a paradisiacal space for exclusive use of the resort inhabitants. 

Owners thus enjoy a top-level holiday, even better in cloudy or colder days, because San Alfonso has a roofed beach – unique in South America – with temperate water, heated sand, bubble beds, cascades, water-jet massage… everything you need for relax and fun.  






An Incredible Panoramic View


crystal lagoons san alfonso del mar panoramic view large balconies incredible view must see landscapeSan Alfonso’s buildings are designed in such a way that every apartment has large balconies that face the sea. 

From there, the spectacle is really impressive. Algarrobo’s Large Beach, extending for more than two kilometers, the bay full of multiply colored sailboats and the single-breaking-wave blue sea, ideal for fishing enthusiasts, constitute a must-see landscape with a perspective that extends from the lagoon to the sea with no element or building that breaks its continuity and harmony.


The Most Complete Infrastructure

crystal lagoons san alfonso del mar open air jacuzzi


crystal lagoons san alfonso del mar pa a tempered beach under a crystal pyramid open-air Jacuzzis sauna beauty parlor and gym the exhibition and cultural activities room the open-air amphitheater2San Alfonso has created a private world with activities for all family members to spend days full of enjoyment without ever leaving the resort.
crystal lagoons san alfonso del mar pa a tempered beach under a crystal pyramid open-air Jacuzzis sauna beauty parlor and gym the exhibition and cultural activities room the open-air amphitheater1

For sport lovers, there are sport schools imparting training classes on sailing, kayak, scuba diving, swimming, ocean navigation, tennis and paragliding, and they also will find at their disposal artificially-lit five-a-side soccer courts, volleyball courts and tennis courts, a real statutory soccer field and a gym with large windows that enjoy a stimulating overview of the lagoon.

Children have play grounds and entertainment activities organized by child monitors, whereas teenagers have an exclusive space destined for them – the Teen-Pub -, and also SubTerra discotheque, where often music recitals and live shows are featured.

The Beach Club with spa, a tempered beach under a crystal pyramid, open-air Jacuzzis, sauna, beauty parlor and gym; the exhibition and cultural activities room; the open-air amphitheater; the Spa; the supermarket and the North Bay pub-restaurant with its own dock and a large terrace along the lagoon’s coastline – where often amusing parties and shows are held – are also part of San Alfonso’s facilities.

To all that, the South Bay development has to be added, where the SubAqua Café stands out for its inner aquarium, the largest in Chile, which holds more that 60 Chilean species that can be appreciated in full magnitude through a 25-meters-long glass surface. A giant 100-meters-long water chute is also located in this zone. This area is complete, the South Bay restaurant pub has a large outdoor terrace, a gym equipped with latest technology machines, heated pool and Jacuzzi with ocean view.





An Entire World of Activities


spinning classes aqua fitness yoga and fun dancing massive bike rides amusing bingos theatre plays and interesting art exhibitionsSan Alfonso offers a variety of amusements for all ages and interests, especially during holiday seasons.

Kids can join the numerous activities organized by monitors and those who love sports can participate into different championships, spinning classes, aqua fitness, yoga and fun dancing, or simply enter one of the available schools to learn or improve their performance on different sport disciplines.

There are also activities to be enjoyed by all family members, like massive bike rides, amusing bingos, theatre plays and interesting art exhibitions.

Nights are also full of life at San Alfonso. The SubAqua Café, the North Bay Pub and the Beach Club offer karaoke sessions, music recitals and live shows and dancing dinners, while thematic parties are held at SubTerra Dicotheque to suit different ages: discokids, under-18 and over-18.


Apartments With Broad Balconies


crystal lagoons san alfonso del mar Broad BalconiesThe characteristic pyramid design of the buildings, provide each apartment with a view over the sea and a privileged orientation. The 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-bedroom apartments with large balconies incorporate building solutions and avant-garde elements that deliver superior quality and incomparable comfort that are not to be found in any other alternative in the second home market. This is best illustrated by the duplex penthouses that have huge balconies of more than 100 sqm and open-air Jacuzzis.

The buildings are administered under a modern hotel concept, in such a way as to avoid any type of concern to the owners. Along these lines, an optional maid service, an integral decoration service, a renting central for those who wish to rent their property with no personal involvement, and a permanent post-sale service are available, among many other attentions.


Only one step from Santiago


San Alfonso is located at only 90 kilometers apart from Santiago in Algarrobo’s northern sector, the closer beach spot to the eastern sector of the capital city.

crystal lagoons san alfonso del mar location interstate how to arrive routes to lagoon

Arriving to this “private world” is faster and safer than ever, since the access routes have been substantially enhanced. One of the alternatives from Santiago is taking Highway 68 that runs between Santiago and Valparaiso – with double lane in all its course – and continuing to the highway that communicate Casablanca and Algarrobo. Then, it is possible to reach San Alfonso directly by the Aguas Marinas branch, without passing by Algarrobo’s downtown, thereby avoiding traffic jams and delays, especially during summer. It is worth to mention that Costanera Norte and Vespucio Norte franchised expressways in Santiago allow anybody to reach Highway 68 non-stop in a matter of minutes.

Another alternative is taking Autopista del Sol and then continuing by the highway that joins all the seaside towns between Algarrobo and Santo Domingo. This highway runs parallel to the coastal route and makes possible to go from Algarrobo to San Antonio’s harbor in just 20 minutes.



For more details you can visit the following websites: 

San Alfonso del Mar 

Crystal Lagoons

Special Offers for Crystal Lagoons – San Alfonso del Mar

Last minute offers for Crystal Lagoons – San Alfonso del Mar

Crystal Lagoons San Alfonso Del Mar Live Camera

San Mateo, Calif.– Marketo announced on April 18, 2012 that it has redefined marketing automation with the acquisition of Crowd Factory, Inc., a leading social campaign management platform. With its first acquisition, Marketo breaks social marketing from its usual silo, making it an integrated and integral part of every online marketing initiative. With social marketing a mandate for every company – large and small, business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) – this combined solution enables marketers to amplify and measure social-enabled campaigns to deliver more customers and gain an immediate competitive edge.


“Social marketing campaigns and marketing automation have been like the proverbial two ships passing in the night, with most social marketing tools sitting in silos disconnected from mainstream marketing processes. Today we have changed that game,” said Phil Fernandez, president and CEO of Marketo. “By combining Crowd Factory with Marketo, marketing professionals can finally use integrated social campaigns to boost the reach and impact of every marketing initiative they undertake – at every step in the customer lifecycle. Since releasing our first products four years ago, Marketo’s innovation has repeatedly reset the standard for marketing solutions, and we’re thrilled to do it again with this revolutionary development in social marketing automation.”


Crowd Factory is a complete social campaign management platform that helps marketers accelerate social and word-of-mouth marketing, grow their marketing databases with unique social profiles and attract new customers. The platform allows marketers to add social applications and messages quickly to every channel – Facebook Pages, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, landing pages, websites, banner ads and emails. These applications encourage social sharing, supercharging the results of every multi-channel marketing campaign. Then, Crowd Factory automatically tracks the reach and impact of this social sharing, providing direct feedback on the return on investment (ROI) of social marketing. Companies of all sizes, including Molson Coors, Sony Music, Jive Software, Quickoffice and British Telecom use Crowd Factory’s social marketing software to drive real business results every day.


Now, marketers have a breakthrough solution that unifies Marketo’s broad platform for marketing automation, sales effectiveness, and analytical reporting with Crowd Factory’s platform for rapidly creating and deploying social campaigns like customer referrals or sweepstakes.

 Sanjay Dholakia, CEO of Crowd Factory commented the following:

“Crowd Factory pioneered the idea of Social ROI by empowering marketers to push viral campaigns throughout the social web, and then track that valuable social activity back to individual influencers and conversions, this fits perfectly into the vision of marketing automation that Marketo has led: that all marketing activity matters and can be measured against the bottom line. We are excited to join the Marketo team and help companies of any size in any market segment generate more campaigns, more leads and, ultimately, more customers.”


“I like this combination a lot,” said Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group, LLC, a customer strategy consulting firm. “A 21st-century multichannel marketing strategy has to incorporate social channels as well as traditional or it’s going to fail. To succeed at that, there needs to be a technological underpinning that can handle all channels in conjunction with the increasingly demanding requirements from customers. The combination of Marketo and Crowd Factory is as close to the complete package for this as you’ll see for a long while.”


“The prospect of combining Crowd Factory’s social capabilities and platform with Marketo’s marketing automation platform – especially lead scoring – is a really exciting and innovative development,” said Christine Poirier, Manager, Digital and Relationship Marketing at Molson Coors. “Our reach with email campaigns is limited to the consumers in our database. However, with Crowd Factory we are able to easily give our consumers a way to share our brands and our content with their friends, in an authentic way. This helps us amplify our reach, while also giving our consumers a fun way to engage with our brands and with their social networks.”


“As a customer of both companies, this is terrific news – it’s all about reducing friction in the marketing funnel and scaling our ability to effectively reach, educate and nurture our target customers,” said David Karel, VP of Marketing at Bizo. “Our revenue growth is accelerating and Marketo has played a big role as we’ve ramped our marketing effort from ‘zero to 100 mph’ these past couple of years; in fact, our marketing programs contributed almost as much business in Q1 as they did all of last year. We just signed up with Crowd Factory to continue our growth by giving a social lift to all of our content and campaigns. Integrating this power with Marketo will help us drive better results at each stage of the sales and marketing funnel.”


Marketo will continue to support and invest in all current products and customers of both companies. And with combined innovation from both companies, Marketo expects to introduce an exciting new unified product family soon, one in which social campaign management comes to life, where every marketing campaign is a social-enabled marketing campaign. Customers will get an inside view at the Marketo User Summit, May 22-24 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.


About Marketo


Marketo is the fastest growing provider in Revenue Performance Management. Marketo’s powerful yet easy-to-use marketing automation and sales effectiveness solutions transform how marketing and sales teams of all sizes work — and work together — to drive dramatically increased revenue performance and fuel business growth. The company’s proven technology, comprehensive services and expert guidance are helping more than 1,800 enterprise and mid-market companies around the world to turn marketing from a cost center to a business-building revenue driver. Marketo also offers Spark by Marketo™, a new brand of marketing automation tailored specifically for small businesses – the fastest-growing and largest segment of today’s economy.


Marketo, Spark by Marketo and the respective logos are trademarks of Marketo, Inc.


All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Stop Cispa Privacy Online Act

Right now, the US is poised to pass a new law that would permit US agents to spy on almost everything we do online. But we can stop them before the final vote.

Companies that we trust with our personal information, like Microsoft and Facebook, are key supporters of this bill that lets corporations share all user activity and content with US government agents without needing a warrant in the name of cyber-security — nullifying privacy guarantees for almost everyone around the world, no matter where we live and surf online.

If enough of us speak out, we can stop companies that profit from our business from supporting cyber-spying. Sign the petition to these key net corporations now:


The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) would allow companies doing business in the US to collect exact records of all of our online activities and hand them over to the US government, without ever notifying us that we are being watched. No warrant, no legal cause and no due process required. To make matters worse, the bill provides the government and corporations with blanket immunity to protect them from being sued for violation of privacy and other illegal actions.

The bill’s supporters claim that consumer information will be protected, but the reality is that huge loopholes would make everything we do online fair game — and nowadays, from banking to shopping, our private information is all stored on the Internet.

CISPA is being moved forward in Congress and will be voted upon in days. Let’s raise a massive outcry to stop corporations from giving the US a blank check to monitor our every move. Click below to take action:


This year, we helped stop SOPA, PIPA and ACTA — all dire threats to the Internet. Now, let’s block CISPA and end the US government attack on our Internet.

WIth hope and determination,

Dalia, Allison, Emma, Ricken, Rewan, Andrew, Wen-Hua, and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

CISPA: The internet finds a new enemy (Global Post)

CISPA protests begin amid key changes to legislation (Los Angeles Times)

Cybersecurity Bill FAQ: The Disturbing Privacy Dangers in CISPA and How To Stop It (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

New CISPA Draft Narrows Cybersecurity Language as Protests Loom (Mashable)

According to Korea’s Electric Times Internet, “the next flagship phones of the companies are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquidmetal for the iPhone5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts.”

The iPhone is to debut in June during Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, while the new Galaxy S3, also known as “Milky Way,” is scheduled to be unveiled in London on May 3, 2012.

Citing unnamed industry sources, Korean news site ETnews says Apple will use Liquidmetal technology for the next iPhone, which the outlet boldly claims will be unveiled at Apple’s annual worldwide developers conference.

Apple purchased an exclusive commercial license to Liquidmetal in late 2010. The technology, which Apple has used only for the SIM ejector tool it includes with some iPhone and iPad models, is billed as a metallic glass.

ETnews adds that Apple will not be alone in using a new material for its flagship handset. Citing the same sources, it says Apple rival Samsung plans to use ceramics for its Galaxy S3 smartphone, which is expected to be unveiled next month.


A Revolutionary Class of Materials


Liquidmetal alloys are a revolutionary class of materials that redefine performance, process, and design paradigms. Liquidmetal alloys represent the first enabling materials technology since the creation of thermoplastics and possess characteristics that make them superior in many ways to other popular high performance materials. First, they have an “amorphous” atomic structure, which is unprecedented for bulk structural metals. Second, they include a multi-component chemical compositions, which are optimized for various properties and processes. Finally, our metal alloys are the first commericially available metals with process technologies similar to plastics.


The technology of Liquidmetal alloys provides for the optimization of properties for specific applications by tailoring the combination of process, chemistry and atomic structure. The technology of Liquidmetal alloys is proprietary and covered by numerous existing or pending patents.


Liquidmetal videos


Learn how Liquidmetal redefines the performance and design pardigms institutionalized by traditional materials

[youtube -P7DgFw6AyI]


See the performance difference between Liquidmetal, stainless steel and titanium

[youtube RAQIioLteuM]

About Liquidmetal Technologies

Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. (OTC:LQMT) shares are trading sharply on Wednesday on rumors that Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) for its iPhone 5 is planning to shift its smartphone designs from glass to liquidmetal.

Patentlyapple.com citing Korea’s Electric Times Internet reported, “the next flagship phones of the companies are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquidmetal for the iPhone5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts.”

The company reported d total revenue of $246,000 for the latest year, compared with $4.74 million reported in 2010. LQMT’s product revenue for 2011 was $227,000, up from $40,000 reported in the previous year. Revenue from licensing and royalties totaled $19,000 in 2011.

Gross profit for 2011 totaled $87,000. The company’s net income for 2011 was $10.61 million, compared with $52,000 reported for 2010.

Shares of the company slumped in early April after disappointing results. The stock was down over 50% after reporting earnings and made a new 52-week low of $0.12. The stock is up over 41% so far this year and plunged 62% over the past one year.

The stock is now trading higher by 30% to $0.195 on over 6.24 million shares, compared to its average volume of 2.37 million shares.

Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. is engaged in the business of developing, manufacturing, and marketing products made from amorphous alloys. The Company’s Liquidmetal family of alloys consists of a variety of coatings, powders, bulk alloys, and composites that utilize the advantages offered by amorphous alloy technology. Liquidmetal Technologies markets and sells Liquidmetal alloy industrial coatings and also manufactures, markets and sells products and components from bulk Liquidmetal alloys that can be incorporated into the finished goods of its customers across a variety of industries.

Via  Patently Apple

Google Drive plans found by The Next Web

Google Drive

Brad McCarty at The Next Web got lucky and received a draft release from a partner of Google’s upcoming Google Drive service which  discloses lots of information about how Google plans to take on the incumbent Dropbox. The story: 5 GB of storage, and it launches next week, most likely on Tuesday at http://drive.google.com

Brad McCarty commented:

Now let’s talk details. It’s no surprise that it will roll out for free. What’s interesting though is that Google is planning to start everyone with 5 GB of storage. Of course you can buy more, but that trumps Dropbox’s 2 GB that is included with every account. Dropbox does make it easy to get more space, including 23 GB of potential upgrades for HTC users.

What’s also interesting is the wording related to how the system will work. It’s been long-thought that Windows integration will come easy, but that getting the Google Drive icon into the Mac a la Dropbox would be a bit harder. From what we’re reading, Google Drive will work “in desktop folders” on both Mac and Windows machines, which still leaves the operation question unanswered.


Google Drive leaked at TechCrunch


Google Drive

TechCrunch has been able to download and run the app and it is currently idle, sitting quietly in the corner, unable to connect to the service at Google.

The version they were given is 1.0.2891 and seems to run without issue. They were able to log in using the Gmail account. It currently throws an error stating that “Google Drive is not yet enabled for your account.”

Though not definitive proof that the service will launch next week, it’s clear that this is a full, working app. There is native support for Google filetypes like files produced in Gdraw and Google Docs.

At this point the app is pretty much useless. It seems Google needs to activate the service from their end in order to enable the functionality.

 Google is not commenting on Google Drive at yet. “We do not comment on rumor or speculation,” a spokesman told msnbc.com Monday.


Read more at The Next Web and TechCrunch

Doug Wead on Fox Business tells Neil Cavuto that Ron Paul may be the economic Winston Churchill for America. Doug refers to Ron Paul’s Sept. 10, 2003 detail prediction of the coming crisis. 8-10-11

[youtube vtFFnFiJzTo]


Quotes from the official documents at the committee meeting 


[youtube GpBIhHi7KEA]


Wednesday, September 10, 2003
U.S. House of Representatives,
Committee on Financial Services,
Washington, D.C.
    The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:06 a.m., in Room 2128, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Michael G. Oxley [chairman of the committee] presiding.
    Present: Representatives Oxley, Leach, Baker, Bachus, Castle, Royce, Lucas, Ney, Kelly, Paul, Gillmor, Manzullo, Ose, Biggert, Toomey, Shays, Shadegg, Miller, Hart, Capito, Tiberi, Kennedy, Feeney, Hensarling, Garrett, Murphy, Brown-Waite, Barrett, Harris, Renzi, Frank, Kanjorski, Waters, Sanders, Maloney, Gutierrez, Velázquez, Watt, Hooley, Carson, Sherman, Meeks, Lee, Inslee, Moore, Gonzalez, Ford, Hinojosa, Lucas, Crowley, Israel, Ross, McCarthy, Baca, Matheson, Miller, and Scott.
    Mr. PAUL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I first want to compliment Mr. Baker for having pursued this issue. He has been looking at it for quite a few years and has kept it alive, trying to point out some of the problems that the GSEs face with the excess of debt and some of the problems that we face. But I think that, from the conversation I have heard today, the consensus is that we just do not have enough regulations and all we need is a world-class regulator and everything is going to be okay.

    I think we are failing to look at the real problem and the cause of our crisis we face. I am concerned that we are going to have a world-class adjustment to the distortions that we, the Congress, the Fed, and the Treasury have created over these last several decades; and it seems like there is essentially no concern about that.

    These programs were originally set up to help poor people get affordable housing; today we have a program that helps people buy a house for over $300,000 and get subsidy for their mortgage payment. At the same time, the administrators of these programs make millions of dollars. So I think we have lost our way on this.

    But the biggest concern I have is that Congress is not looking at the real problem, and to me it has been this implied credit and implied guarantee of this credit, are we going to get rid of this line of credit? Not likely, because that would cause a bit of chaos. But that is what has really blown these markets up, and they are distorted.
    Also, we have the Fed very much involved in this. They probably wouldn’t admit it, but the Fed on occasion will buy GSE securities. Foreign central banks buy these securities because it is implied that the Fed is going to come to the rescue.

    Right now, overseas foreigners are buying less of these securities, and the dollar is a little weaker, and what is going to happen when they quit buying them or selling them and what is going to happen to our investors who buy Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac? When the dollar weakens, interest rates go up. Already the interest rates are rising long term. Could a world class regulator deal with that? Not likely. I mean, I am concerned that there is going to be a panic out of these things. As the dollar goes down, interest rates go up. And we still haven’t looked at the problem and that is this allocation of credit, taking money out of the market, excess of credit to begin with because the Fed is pumping it up just like they pumped up the credit into the NASDAQ and you had to have a burst in that bubble.

    Some people think there could be a bubble here. Who knows, though? It might be a great bit of distortion, but there will be a correction.
    I am concerned, and I would like Secretary Snow to comment on this. Do you have a concern yourself about what could happen here? This is a huge amount of debt, a lot of investors, a lot at stake. What happens if mortgage rates go up three points in the next year and the dollar keeps weakening? We have a huge current account deficit, and the currency always goes down when you run an account deficit like this.

    So I would say that we are missing the whole point here thinking that all we need to do is come up with a new agency and a world-class regulator and we are going to do some good if we don’t address the subject of the dollar and interest rates.

    Secretary SNOW.

Congressman, as you know, the dollar and the interest rates are largely a function of monetary policy, right? And, no, we are not proposing to put the Fed under this new regulator. What we are proposing to do is to put these housing entities that have such impact on financial markets under this new regulator and give that new regulator the complete authority that would be needed to deal with the soundness and safety of the financial system that it oversees. That would be helpful.

    Some of the issues you deal with are properly approached through a sophisticated, risk-based set of capital standards with a sophisticated regulator applying those risk-based capital standards and adjusting the capital requirements to the risks; and those risks include the ones you have outlined, the risks of interest rates going up 300 basis points or falling 300 basis points. That is what that sophisticated new regulator would be required to look at.

    We are saying, remove the current statutory restrictions on how you look at risk-based capital. Let the regulator free to apply the most sophisticated and current and modern approaches to the question of appropriate capital structure for these entities.

    So, no, we do not go the whole way here in dealing with some of the external factors that drive these markets, but taking those external factors is something we cannot control through this entity. We give the entity the ability to set the capital standards in a way to take those factors into account.

    The CHAIRMAN. [Presiding.] The gentleman’s time has expired.



ACTA protest

Dear friends,

Politicians across Europe are starting to withdraw their support from the dangerous ACTA treaty. This weekend’s mass protest is our moment to bury ACTA for good. Click to join the day of action, in person or virtually — let’s win this!

Take action now

In 24 hours, people across the planet are joining a global street protest to bury ACTA for good. 

This week our massive 2 million ACTA petition caused shockwaves in Brussels, and we’ve just learned that Germany has put ACTA on ice and other governments are close to following suit. If Europe says no to ACTA, it dies!  We’re at a tipping point — If enough of us join the protest tomorrow, we can secure our online freedom and end the threat of ACTA’s censorship nightmare. 

Let’s turn out in thousands to protest or, if we can’t be there in person (most of the protests are in Europe), send messages of solidarity to our fellow citizens who are marching. Click here to use our map tool to find an event near you, or leave a solidarity message for marchers: 


Our massive ACTA petition was personally delivered to leading EU politicians in Brussels this week as it grew to 2.2 million signers and beyond. The European Parliament is choosing their new point person on the treaty right now. Let’s make sure that person realises that ACTA is too hot to handle. 

Four Eastern European governments and now Germany have just said they’ll stall their decision on the treaty. Now, if hundreds of thousands of people attend thousands of rallies all across Europe tomorrow, we can ensure that all politicians across the 27 EU countries are put on notice that people don’t want ACTA and will continue to take action until the treaty is buried. 

Those of us in Europe can join the protests. And we all can send messages of solidarity to encourage the people there and use social media to pile the pressure on key parliamentarian. Click here to check out the action centre, and tell everyone.


Again and again, we’ve shown how people power can work. When our fundamental freedoms are at stake, and we act together, we can forge an unstoppable force that makes politicians turn away from the corporate lobbies, and work in the interests of all of us. Let’s do it again.

With hope and determination,

Alex, Alice, Pascal, Emma, Ricken, Maria Paz, Luis and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

Acta activates mass opposition (Euractiv)

Acta: Europe braced for protests over anti-piracy treaty (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16906086

Latest pact on internet piracy set to be derailed (Financial Times) http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/a52f57ec-533d-11e1-aafd-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1lzG5htN5

Czech Republic, Slovakia freeze anti-piracy pact (AFP) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gguBSrXtQKnr0famyhxMlNK2plDQ?docId=CNG.956cc047c755305c8ad4580183554bcc.71

ACTA vs. SOPA: Five Reasons ACTA is a Scarier Threat to Internet Freedom

Act on Acta now if you care about democracy and free speech (The Guardian)

The secret treaty: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Its Impact on Access to Medicines

Megaupload filesharing closed fbi

The FBI has caused incalculable damage, far in excess of the losses claimed by the content lobbies, in a fruitless attempt to prevent access to the media content hosted on Megaupload, some of which they claim to have been infringing copyright under US law. However, as much of the unlawful content will still be available via other services on the web, this action not only shows us the futility of these measures but also serves as a reminder that these files are not necessarily, nor have been shown to be, illegal in any country, including the US.Filesonic Sharing Disabled

In contrast, by closing the service they have impeded the access to millions of archives of both private individuals and organisations, potentially causing huge personal, economic and image damages to a vast number of people. In addition, the Pirate Party understands they may have violated Articles 197 and 198 of the Spanish Penal Code by misappropiating personal data.

The widespread damage caused by the sudden closure of Megaupload is unjustified and completely disproportionate to the aim intended. For this reason Pirates of Catalonia, in collaboration with Pirate Parties International and other Pirate Parties [including the Pirate Party of the United Kingdom], have begun investigating these potential breaches of law and will facilitate submission of complaints against the US authorities in as many countries as possible, to ensure a positive and just result.

Megaupload Filesharing seized fbi closed


The complaint against FBI


In order to make this joint complaint, a platform has been created where any person or organisation affected by this closure can register their interest, regardless of the type of account they had on Megaupload.

This initiative is a starting point for legitimate internet users to help defend themselves from the legal abuses promoted by those wishing to aggressively lock away cultural materials for their own financial gain.

Regardless of ideology, or opinions on the legality or morality of those running Megaupload, actions such as the closure of this service cause huge damage to lawful users of the sites and are unacceptable and disproportionate violations of their rights.

For these reasons, we ask that everyone spread the call to join this initiative, as actions like this one cannot and should not be forgiven.

Join the complaint here!

Source: http://megaupload.pirata.cat/

Over 36 people have died in the past four weeks from taking oral drugs in Punjab province, Pakistan.

The medicines were provided for free to cardiovascular patients at the government-owned Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore city.

Thousands of prescriptions of these drugs were given to the patients during last month, said hospital officials.

More than 100 patients brought to various hospitals in Lahore for suspected drug reactions have all been recently under treatment at Punjab Institute of Cardiology, and were given these drugs… We are trying to retrieve all the medicines given out at this hospital,” said Jehanzeb Khan, Punjab provincial Health Secretary.

One or more of at least four medicines taken by the patients caused their deaths.

These drugs include Alfagril (Clopidogrel), Cardiovestin (Simvastatin), Concort (Amlodipine) and Soloprin (Aspirin).

On or more drugs caused a rapid depletion of bone marrow, with a dramatic decrease in white cells and platelets counts that led to bleeding and death, Dr Javed Ikram of the Allama Iqbal Medical College told BBC.


Deaths drom heart pills in Punjab, Pakistan

Over 36 people have died from taking contaminated heart medicines in Punjab, Pakistan.


The presence of some bits of metal in the pills is presumed to be the cause of the symptoms.

The drugs by themselves can cause heavy bleeding if they are taken in high doses, if the patient has certain diseases (such ulcer or gastritis, renal failure) or a particular sensitivity to the substance (allergy). It is possible that the faulty pills to have had an improper dosage of the active substance.

A commission was formed by the provincial government to investigate the deaths. “Patients were coming in with symptoms similar to dengue fever. But then we realized it wasn’t that. The one thing common in all patients was heart disease, and that they were getting medicines from the Punjab Institute of Cardiology,” said Faisal Masood, member of the committee.

The owners of two local pharmaceutical firms were arrested. There have not been any comments from them.

One pharmaceutical firm has been sealed off and the drugs would be sent for testing abroad, officials said.

Pakistan Medical Association asked the government in a statement to buy life-saving drugs from other suppliers.

Pakistan’s government was accused of ineptitude and corruption, and of spending a small amount of funds on health. Apparently Pakistanis have little faith in state-run medical centers.

These oral drugs were purchased at competitive rates, said officials. Hospitals have to buy drugs from the lowest bidder, because if they do not, they can be sued by local pharmaceutical companies and even be issued with an injunction against all future purchases, hospital sources told BBC.


A housemate on Brazil’s Big Brother reality show has been raped live on TV, it has been alleged.

Brazilian police today confirmed they had begun an investigation and carried out a search of the studios in Rio de Janeiro, where Big Brother show is being filmed.

Viewers were shocked in the early hours of Sunday to watch contestant Daniel Echaniz, 31, apparently force himself 23-year-old student Monique Amin, who had passed out drunk after a boozy party.

Night cameras filmed Daniel Echaniz, a male model, get into the bed where Monique Amin was sleeping before appearing to have sex with her under the covers.

Throughout the incident the female contestant appeared unconscious.

The next morning Monique Amin was asked about the incident in the diary room, and appeared to know little of what had happened.

Brazilian police today confirmed they had begun an investigation and carried out a search of the studios in Rio de Janeiro, where Big Brother show is being filmed

Brazilian police today confirmed they had begun an investigation and carried out a search of the studios in Rio de Janeiro, where Big Brother show is being filmed

As the scandal began to engulf the show, one of Brazil’s most watched TV programmes, police officers arrived at the house and interviewed Monique Amin for three hours, before taking her away for a rape examination, according to sources.

Police are believed to have then told TV channel Globo to either stop broadcasting the show, which is produced by Endemol and only began last Tuesday, or eliminate Daniel Echaniz.

The decision to remove the contestant, who if found guilty of rape faces between six and ten years’ jail, was explained in a statement read out by the show’s presenter Pedro Bial.

Pedro Bial said: “Since Sunday morning, the board had been evaluating the behavior of Daniel, who is suspected of having infringed the rules of the programme.

“Big Brother examined his behavior without jumping to conclusions and with the utmost care. The images showed a breach of the rules of the programme.

“After careful evaluation, the direction of the programme found that the behavior of the contestant on the night of the party was seriously inadequate.”

Makers Endemol – which is known for encouraging outrageous behaviour among its contestants – today refused to comment on the latest scandal to rock the worldwide Big Brother format.

Big Brother Brazil, which is in its 12th series, is watched by an average TV audience of eight million. In last year’s final over 154 million votes were cast.

[youtube u0PRmo0UaD0]

The abbot of the prestigious Vatopedi monastery in Mount Athos, Greece has been imprisoned pending trial for alleged fraud and embezzlement.

Archimandrite Ephraim, 56, is accused of arranging land swaps between Vatopedi and the state which are thought to have cost the government millions of euros.

The abbot, now being held in Korydallos prison in Athens, denies wrongdoing. His arrest has triggered protests in Greece, Cyprus, Russia and other christian orthodox countries.



What is Archimandrite Ephraim accused of?


Mount Athos monks rallied for Abbot Ephraim

Mount Athos monks rallied for Abbot Ephraim


Vatopedi is part of the ancient Mount Athos monastic community that has been visited by Britain’s Prince Charles and Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.


The controversial deal saw valuable state land traded for less valuable land held by Vatopedi. It is said to have cost the state some EURO 100 million ($129.42m). None of the involved state officials have been accused, prosecuted or detained, some have even been promoted.


They rushed Efraim to jail … while others who have embezzled Greek people’s money remain at large,” said George Karatzaferis, leader of the far-right LAOS party which is part of Greece’s coalition government.

Despite parliamentary investigations into several public officials, no senior politician has so far been charged.

“Undoubtedly the pre-trial jailing could create the impression, in one part of Greek society, that finally someone is paying for a such a big scandal,” said Costas Panagopoulos, head of ALCO pollsters.

“But it also reminds everyone that all politicians involved in this case are left unpunished,” he said.

The government’s anti-corruption crackdown hit another snag on Wednesday when two newly-appointed special prosecutors targeting economic crime resigned, complaining of political meddling. They did not give details.

Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou replied accusing the critics of “interfering in the work of the justice system”.

Cyprus protesters for freeing Archimandrite Ephraim

Cyprus protesters for freeing Archimandrite Ephraim


Speaking to Skai TV, Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki wondered why Ephraim was the only person among the 32 involved in the Vatopedi land swap to be remanded in custody.


“People are wondering whether Ephraim is being made a scapegoat,” said the bishop, who insisted that the Church of Greece’s Holy Synod would not take a position on the matter.

“There is the problem of meddling in judicial matters,” he said. “The church is totally separate from the state.”




According to Stavros Tsakyrakis, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Athens University the imprisonment of Abbot Ephraim has no basis in law


Stavros Tsakyrakis

“The detention of Mr. Ephraim is another impropriety of Greek justice. It violates the fundamental principle of rule of law dictates that no one is deprived of liberty only after a decision legally consisting court. Temporary custody is a derogation from this principle because it is ordered without a court has ruled on the guilt of a person and therefore justified only in extreme cases when the accused is suspected of absconding or is likely to commit new offenses.

The law governing the detention (Article 282 CCP) is detailed and fully consistent with the exceptional nature of the measure. It requires not only the accused is suspected escape, but have gone in flight preparations. Not only is likely to commit new offenses, but very likely that they will commit. […] With these data, the pre-trial detention is completely arbitrary and has no basis in law.”

Prof. Tsakyrakis added:

It is Mr. Ephraim the only victim of judicial arbitrariness that sends people to prison without a court to rule on guilt, only because the investigating judge and the prosecutor consider them guilty. Two of them, for Mr. A. Sotiropoulou and daughter accused of scandal Zimens I publicly complained in the past. Our judges, however, do not seem to pay attention. They still consider custody as a means of power that allows them to imprison someone accused by themselves and not according to the law. The anxiety of most defendants in Greece is not the trial (which nobody knows when it will take place) but to avoid detention. […]


Russia supports the release of Archimandrite Ephraim


The Russian Orthodox Church’s head of foreign relations, Metropolitan Ilarion, called the abbot’s detention “an extraordinary event, arousing profound bewilderment”

“We are deeply concerned by the ruling of the Greek judiciary to put him under pre-trial detention, despite the recommendations of the European Court of Human Rights” the Russian foreign ministry said.


Patriarch Kirill asks Greek president to release Abbot Ephraim

Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill

Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill

Archimandrite Ephraim, Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery

Archimandrite Ephraim, Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery

Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill has sent a message to Greek President Karolos Papoulias to express his concern regarding the custody of Archimandrite Ephraim, Abbot of the Mount Athos Vatopedi Monastery.

“It is my duty to convey our common concern to the chief of the Greek state and to request the release from custody of Archimandrite Ephraim, superior of the Mount Athos Vatopedi Monastery,” says the message posted on the Russian Orthodox Church website.

“I do not question the powers of the Greek law enforcement officials and express hope for a fair and impartial decision regarding the property of the Vatopedi Monastery. However, I am perplexed by the custody of the monk, who is not a danger to society and has repeatedly expressed readiness to cooperate with detectives, prior to the court hearing of the case merits,” he said.

Patriarch Kirill said he was particularly concerned about Archimandrite Ephraim’s ill health, which was ignored in taking him into custody.

“In Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and other countries, whose peoples are the traditional flock of the Russian Orthodox Church, millions of believers are alarmed by the police measures taken as regards the hegemon of the famous Athos monastery well-known to the entire Orthodox world on the days Orthodox Greece celebrates Christmas,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern about the custody of Archimandrite Ephraim on Wednesday.


There was no intention to flee the country to escape a trial, Abbot Ephraim was in Russia accompanying the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God for more than one month in fall. Approximately three million believers worshiped the holy object from Athos in that period.


Protests in Russia for freeing Archimandrite Ephraim

Support Crowd in Moscow

Support Crowd in Moscow

Russia’s Orthodox St.Andrew Foundation has held a protest campaign in the vicinity of EU Moscow office to support Archimandrite Ephraim, superior of the Vatopedi Monastery in Athos who had been arrested earlier. The Fund arranged the delivery of the Most Holy Mother of God Belt from Athos earlier this autumn.

The protesters believe it is  cruel and inhumane to keep  Father Ephraim under arrest given the state of his health and age. A similar rally was organized near the Greek Embassy in Moscow.


Letter condemning the decision


The President of the Hellenic Republic,
The Prime Minister,
The Attorney General

24 December 2011

Your Excellencies,

We hereby condemn with abhorrence the judicial ‘’crime’ committed in Athens on the 23rd December 2011, against the Church in the face of Elder Efrem, Abbot of the Great, Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi in the Holy Mountain.

The decision to take Elder Efrem into custody was based on hatred and prejudice. This is manifested in the following:

  1. The timing of the decision: Christmas Eve
  2. The surrounding of the Holy Mountain by armed police forces despite the declaration by the attorney representing the Elder that the latter intended to present himself to the police willingly.
  3. The sentence passed is normally given to people who have the intention to repeat the offences accused of.
  4. During the preliminary hearing the reason given for the sentence was the Elder’s recent trip to Russia, when he accompanied the Holy Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God. During this visit millions of people, including the President, the Prime Minister and the Attorney General of the Russian Republic came out to greet them.
  5. The investigation lasted more than three years and no incriminating evidence has been found.
  6. The offense which the Elder is accused of is ‘instigation’ even though the suspects of this offence have been acquitted.
  7. During the last three years of the investigation, the Elder has taken numerous trips abroad and if he had intended to leave the country he had plenty of opportunity to do so.
  8. The Elder, as a spiritual figure, is honored and praised worldwide and constitutes an excellent envoy for Greece.
  9. The people who have been revealed as the masterminds of the conspiracy against him have been honored with ministerial posts and are attempting to cover up their deception at all costs.
  10. In Greece, enormous scandals have been uncovered and established while those responsible are not only walking free but are also given political posts.

We are convinced that the decision is a deliberate political act intending to defame the Holy Mountain and the Church.

We call upon you to do the utmost to reverse it.


Click here to download the letter.


You can send it via:



The letter is also available in romanian


Sprijin Elder Efrem


Prieteni şi prietene,

Cutremuraţi şi rămaşi fără grai, noi, ortodocşii de pretutindeni, greci sau nu, am aflat de hotărârea cu totul neîntemeiată a Curţii de Apel din Atena, privind arestul preventiv al Părintelui Stareţ Efrem.

Această evoluţie neaşteptată a evenimentelor ne îndeamnă să semnăm, în semn de dezaprobare a acestei hotărâri şi de susţinere a Părintelui Stareţ Efrem, scrisoarea ataşată şi să facem demersuri pentru semnarea ei de toţi cei care sunt de acord cu conţinutul ei.

Vă dorim un Crăciun fericit!



How to lose weight in a healthy way


Weight loss is not easy as part of a busy life. Healthy eating isn’t always possible if you are on the move constantly. Neither is fitting 2 hours in the gym everyday however if you can make sure to get some whey protein at www.hollandandbarrett. So, every bit of assistance in weight loss helps. That’s where acai berry supplements come into play.

This is an all natural supplement to your daily diet that assists in weight loss. This herbal remedy is a safe way of aiding weight loss. It is high in anti-oxidants, so it also cleanses the digestive system. The berry comes from the Amazon and has a long history with the tribes, who used it for its numerous benefits. The anti-oxidants boost vitality which is very beneficial to weight loss, as you’re more likely to be active in today’s world. The berry has essential fatty acids, amino acids and phytosterols that can improve your metabolism.

The acai berry supplement is often used in conjunction with colonic therapies to enhance the digestive system. This aids weight loss by removing any build ups within the intestines and allowing quicker, more efficient absorption of all the necessary nutrients. The acai berry is also renowned to reduce the appetite making it less likely that a chocolate binge will occur.

The acai berry can be purchased in many forms, from fresh or juice to supplement form. However, it can be expensive, so shop around before you buy. The acai berry needs to be taken, eaten or even drunk as part of a balanced diet. The acai berry alone won’t aid in weight loss, it has to be teamed with a calorie controlled diet and daily exercise.

 The acai berry can also have benefits for mental health as it increases energy and vitality, which can help ward off stress and help to keep a psychologically healthy mind.


What you should know if you experience an accident


It is possible to experience an accident or injury at virtually any time, or in any place, and personal injury law and lawyers cover most of these situations and experiences. One of the less common types of injury of this kind is that of airplane accidents. However, this term can refer to anything from a relatively minor accident which takes place during the course of a flight – such as a fall while standing in the plane, a spilt hot drink due to the motion of the plane or being hit by luggage falling from one of the overhead compartments – to something far more serious like injuries sustained in the wake of an aircraft crash. Therefore lawyers dealing with this particular area of the law need a significant degree of specialist knowledge and understanding.

Airplane accident Lawyer

Accidents on an airplane journey come under the heading of personal injury when it comes to compensation claims, but they represent a complex area of this type of aviation accident law compensation. Like many other forms of personal injury claim, a specialist aviation accident lawyer will take on cases on a no-win, no-fee basis – thus enabling people on lower incomes to make claims for compensation they are rightfully entitled to. Complicating the issue of compensation when it comes to airplane accidents is the fact that there are differences in making a claim depending on whether you were injured during an international flight or one within the UK – which is another major reason why it is best to seek the help of a qualified airplane accident lawyer if you wish to pursue a claim of this kind.


The Montreal Convention


Airplane accidents which happen on international flights are legally covered under the terms of the Montreal Convention, which ensures that people injured during the course of an international flight can pursue their compensation claim in the country where it will be most favourable to them – whether this happens to be the country that they were travelling to on their flight, or the country they primarily live in. This was incorporated into UK law in 2002, meaning you or your legal representative need to fully understand it in order to make such a claim.


How was sports betting invented?

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine the existence of sporting events without sports betting; this is because sports betting has a long and colorful history which runs parallel with the development of sport around the world.

The roots of sports betting in general can be traced back to the sport of kingshorse racing. It was at the horse racing tracks that the first steps towards what we now know as organized sports betting were made. Throughout the 19th Century and into the early 20th Century, members of the upper class enjoyed small wagers and bets on the outcomes of certain races within the regular gatherings and race meetings.

It was after the Civil War that horse racing tracks started appearing in larger numbers across the landscape; this, in turn, attracted a great many betters and would-be entrepreneurs from all over the country.

The idea of the bookmaker started at these race meetings, where bookmakers would organise auction pools. These auction pools saw bets auctioned off for each horse within the race.

During this time, particularly business-savvy individuals were starting to realise that setting the odds on individual horses could serve to improve the betting handles meaning better business for the bookies.

Online betting

The origins of online betting

This spawned a technique that is still used within bookmaking to this very day: If there was an overwhelming amount of money being wagered on one particular horse (giving an overpowering indication that it was the favourite to win), then the bookmaker would simply lower the odds on that particular horse, thereby increasing the attractiveness of betting on other horses within the race, this process became known as shortening the odds, with the opposite being known as lengthening the odds.

Although sports betting has moved into every conceivable betting market, its origins can still be traced back to the racetracks.


People who are serious about their body building are often subjected to intense stereotypes.


This stereotype tells us that body builders are individuals who purposefully grow their muscles to obscene sizes, rub oil all over themselves and then put on showcases in which they demonstrate their ability to lift hundreds and hundreds of pounds at once. Unfortunately the stereotype is not entirely off base. There are actually some men and women who have that approach to body building. People who are professional body builders are often paid to do just what is described in the stereotype. There are, obviously, plenty of other reasons to take up body building as a hobby. Increasing your health is the most important reason to try out body building. Body building is one of the best ways to work out. Here is the correct approach to body building when you are first starting out.

Choose a gym that is good.


Not all gyms have the type of equipment you need to use when you want to do some body building. Before you decide which gym to join make sure you shop around. You want a gym center that has regular body building clientele.
You also want to find a gym that has good lighting and is very clean. Your gym should have equipment that is well maintained and always in working order. You also want the gym to have a good vibe to it. If you don’t like spending time there or using the equipment you won’t get your money’s worth out of your gym membership. That will put a damper on your body building efforts.

Set reachable goals for yourself.


Don’t try to build your body too fast. Focus on goals that are realistic and healthy. This way you will build your body and get the high satisfaction that comes from being able to meet your goals.
Keep setting goals: set new ones as you achieve the ones you have in place. Setting reasonable and reachable goals keeps your motivation up and keeps you from being tempted to do something stupid like taking a shortcut. You cannot build muscles that are not already strong. If you to do body building too fast you might hurt yourself or get discouraged when you don’t see the results you want as quickly as you wanted to see them.

Take some time to relax between each activity or exercise.


If you push yourself too hard too soon you could end up hurting yourself. The best way to build your stamina is to increase the length of your workout by allowing yourself a few moments to rest at regular intervals. Trying to plow straight through a workout could dehydrate you. You might even strain or pull some muscles. You might weaken yourself to the point of not being able to complete your workout! Even the most experienced body builders will take time to rest between exercises and working specific groups of muscles.

Body building has taken on an almost negative stereotype over the last few decades.


The truth is that body building is a legitimate form of exercising and it can be a great way to get your body healthy and in shape. Exercise is an important part of getting healthy. Your body and muscles need to be worked regularly to stay strong and to keep you as healthy as you can be.

Twitter Marketing Techniques That Will Get You Fast Traffic

By starting your Twitter marketing campaign with the correct tactics you can maximize the time you put into Twitter. Everything here depends on how you approach it. Twitter is very versatile so you have lots of options that you can choose to use, just be sure they are techniques that actually work. Your success with Twitter marketing depends on several core components that will result in positive results if you stick with them. There is no need to engage in spam techniques and methods that violate the site’s Terms of Service; when you can use far more powerful strategies. It’s a simple fact that people trust what stay can see, understand and relate to; so it would be wise to be transparent and more sociable in your Twitter marketing. Twitter is a site whose members do not tolerate spam, doing it will make your followers run away and some will even report you. Getting followers on Twitter is easy, lets look at a few simple ways of doing so.

Twitter is a community, and just like other communities there are laws and unspoken rules.

It’s all about communicating with them the right way to pass on your marketing message. And how do you communicate in a way that gets results? By being yourself, by being honest and transparent. Twitter is one of the places that being yourself helps and putting on an act will destroy your credibility. Connections with other people is the foundation of anything you do on Twitter.

The more you focus on relationships, the more money you will make.

Once people know and trust you, they will listen to you. Something to keep in mind is that traditional marketing doesn’t work with Twitter. Success with Twitter marketing comes from soft selling instead of the more traditional hard sell. Growing your business through Twitter can be a fun experience, given that you don’t start exploiting it as a regular marketing tool. Once you’re established, Twitter can make you fast cash. You’ll see trends coming and going, and an intelligent marketer will cash in on these trends and make his profits. You have to be opportunistic to take advantage of these fads. To pinpoint immerging trends you will have to keep an eye out for the hottest Twitter discussions, they will most likely give you all the info you need to get some articles and blog posts out that are centered around the topic.

Don’t underestimate the power of leveraging trends, you can get lots of traffic that you can build your list with and/or sell them the latest novelty.

To make this work require you to consciously look out for any rising trends. Keep it simple, find something new that is getting a lot of Tweets and then create your content and put it out there.

There is something else worth mentioning, the only way to be able to apply what is in this article, you will need to be able to catch people’s attention first. Your Tweets must be attention grabbers. Writing boring tweets will only make things difficult for you, so put in the effort to make your tweets unique and interesting.

Don’t underestimate the power of Twitter because some spammer said it doesn’t work. A strong relationship can go very far on Twitter. Don’t try to spam the system in way, even indirectly.

St Louis Cardinals beat Texas Rangers 6-2 in the decisive seventh game and won baseball’s World Series 2011.

Both teams drove in two runs in the first innings, but St Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter then began to dominate as the runs dried up for Texas Rangers.

Allen Craig’s solo home run in the third put St Louis Cardinals ahead before Texas Rangers bullpen contrived to walk in two more runs in the fifth.

St Louis Cardinals added another run in the seventh as they cruised to victory. It was heartbreaking for Texas Rangers, who was beaten by San Francisco Giants in last year’s World Series – and had been one strike away from winning 2011’s Fall Classic on two occasions in Thursday’s epic Game Six.

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington admitted:

“Someone has to win, someone has to lose and the Cardinals did it.

“They were the better team.”

The game started badly for Texas Rangers when leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler was caught stealing, but Josh Hamilton and Michael Young drove in a pair of runs as Texas got after Chris Carpenter early on.

St Louis Cardinals beat Texas Rangers 6-2 in the decisive seventh game and won baseball's World Series 2011

St Louis Cardinals beat Texas Rangers 6-2 in the decisive seventh game and won baseball's World Series 2011


St Louis Cardinals drew level in the bottom of the first innings after Rangers starter Matt Harrison walked Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman.

The stage was set for Game Six hero David Freese, who steered a double into left field to score both runners and level the score at 2-2.

While Carpenter, pitching on only three days’ rest, threw five scoreless innings, St Louis Cardinals took the lead for the first time when Allen Craig smashed his homer over the right field fence.

Allen Craig was only starting the game as regular left fielder Matt Holliday was ruled out with a sprained right wrist he sustained in Game Six.

St Louis Cardinals threatened another rally in the bottom of the fifth when reliever Scott Feldman walked Allen Craig and hit Albert Pujols with a pitch.

Lance Berkman grounded out, but Texas Rangers gambled by intentionally walking Freese to load the bases for Yadier Molina – and it backfired as Feldman walked in a run.

That prompted Washington to lift Scott Feldman in favour of CJ Wilson – who had started Games One and Five but began his career as a closer – and the left-hander’s first pitch hit Rafael Furcal to walk in another run and leave the Rangers trailing 5-2.

Allen Craig made a great leaping catch in front of the left-field fence to deny Nelson Cruz a home run, while Chris Carpenter was eventually pulled early in the seventh innings as manager Tony La Russa – the master of matching pitchers with specific batters – turned to his bullpen.

“I was hoping to have an opportunity to go ahead and pitch in this game and fortunately it worked out,” said Chris Carpenter.

“It started off a little rough in the first. But I was able to collect myself, make some pitches and our guys did an awesome job to battle back.”

Lance Berkman, a Texan who was a World Series runner-up with Houston Astros in 2005, hustled well to start another St Louis Cardinals rally in the seventh innings, and this time Mike Adams was the Rangers reliever to suffer as Yadier Molina drove in Berkman to make it 6-2.

With the record 47,399 crowd joined by thousands more surrounding Busch Stadium to share St Louis Cardinals’ moment of glory, Jason Motte was handed the chance to come in as closer and retired the side in style.

Fittingly, it was Allen Craig in left field who caught a David Murphy fly ball for the final out as St Louis Cardinals wrapped up their 11th Fall Classic triumph.

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Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has been fined by NFL with $10,000 for using the cell phone from the sidelines after brutal hit during the game.

Troy Polamalu was forced to leave Sunday’s game against the Jaguars after stopping Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew to help preserve a 17-13 Pittsburgh win.

Fearing his wife Theodora probably saw the hit on TV, Troy Polamalu was handed a cell phone by the team doctor to call and say he was all right.

Troy Polamalu has been fined by NFL with $10,000 for using the cell phone from the sidelines to call his wife Theodora after brutal hit during the game

Troy Polamalu has been fined by NFL with $10,000 for using the cell phone from the sidelines to call his wife Theodora after brutal hit during the game


Troy Polamalu, who was the defensive player of the year in 21010, has a history of concussions in his nine-year NFL career, and wanted to ease his wife worries.

But the NFL did not appreciate Troy Polamalu’s gesture, slapping him with a $10,000 fine.

According to NFL rules, phones are prohibited in the bench area before and during games.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to fine Troy Polamalu came as a surprise, at least to his coach.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin quickly came to his player’s defense, saying: “He wasn’t checking on his bank account.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell’s history with Pittsburgh Steelers is a long story.

Roger Goodell issued a four-game suspension to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and $100,000 in fines for hits by James Harrison in 2010.

However, Troy Polamalu did not appear to be affected by the $10,000 fine.

Besides his NFL salary, Troy Polamalu earns a plenty of money from his shampoo commercials.

But Troy Polamalu’s case is not a singular one, also Joe Horn pulled out a phone after scoring a touchdown for the New Orleans Saints in 2003 and calling from the end zone to tell his wife and kids about it.

That gesture – part of a string of over-the-top touchdown celebrations that the NFL promptly cracked down on – cost Joe Horn $30,000 and may have been the most expensive phone call ever.

Troy Polamalu will play today against Arizona after passing a series of concussion tests.